A young self-described feminist surprises friends and colleagues by adding her husband`s last name to her own. Why? Because she wants to.
By Emily Alpert Reyes
As a kid, I played with toy dinosaurs and dolls alike. At 13, I insisted that a female rabbi perform my bat mitzvah ceremony. I didn`t shave my legs during high school and much of college, in protest against sexist and generally pain-in-the-rear beauty norms. I have a career I love — and no plans to leave it.
So how did a modern woman like me end up changing her name?
I am now Emily Alpert Reyes, instead of Emily Alpert. The decision took friends and family by surprise. My bemused and wonderful husband told me, "You know you don`t have to do that, right?" My editors found the decision so baffling that they prodded me to write this column.
"She was the last person I would expect to go along with what really is a patriarchal tradition," a college friend wrote in an email she later forwarded to me. She added, "I am routinely surprised by the number of my well-educated, feminist friends who still change their names without question."
Why did I do it? Not because anyone made me. Not because I disliked my old name — it`s still there in plain sight, sandwiched between Emily and Reyes.